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Only About One Week Remains to Submit Nominations for Helicopter Association International ‘2024 Salute to Excellence’ Awards

Alexandria, Va. (September 22, 2023) – HAI wants to remind the vertical flight industry that there is just over one week left to submit nominations for its annual Salute to Excellence Awards program. Interested individuals or businesses can submit nominations at rotor.org/salute; HAI must receive all nominations by October 2, 2023.

The Salute to Excellence awards recognize superior achievement across the rotorcraft industry and are open to individuals, teams, or organizations who work with helicopters and remotely piloted aircraft systems (drones or UAS).

“We have a very firm deadline this year, and we will not offer any extensions this year,” says Dan Sweet, co-coordinator for the Salute to Excellence Awards. “Ideally, someone should already be in the process of producing their nomination package, so now is the time to complete it and send it in. If you’ve been procrastinating, you can’t wait any longer. It’s still not too late to produce and submit a winning nomination, but you need to act quickly.”

“Anyone may submit a nomination, and anyone may be nominated. HAI membership is not required,” says Tanya Kirchner, co-coordinator of the HAI awards program. After the nominations close, a committee reviews all entries carefully before selecting a recipient. “The selection committee also has the option to move a nomination to another category if they think it is a better fit, or they can choose not to present an award if they feel none of the nominees meet their standards to receive an award.

Winners are provided roundtrip, coach airfare for themselves and a guest, hotel accommodations, and passes to HAI HELI-EXPO 2024 in Anaheim, Calif. They will receive a trophy, take part in a special reception before the show floor opens, and HAI also produces a short video for each winner. HAI will announce the 2024 award recipients in January.  

The Salute to Excellence award categories include:

  • Matthew S. Zuccaro Land & LIVE Award
  • Excellence in Communications
  • W.A. “Dub” Blessing Flight Instructor of the Year Award, sponsored by Hill Air, Corp.
  • Maintenance Excellence, sponsored by Rolls-Royce
  • Law Enforcement Award, sponsored by MD Helicopters
  • Golden Hour Award
  • Safety Award, sponsored by BLR Aerospace
  • Humanitarian Service Award
  • Pilot of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement, sponsored by Bell.

To submit a nomination for the 2024 HAI Salute to Excellence Awards, go to rotor.org/salute and nominate an exceptional individual or organization today. Award descriptions and criteria are available on the website, and additional information about the awards process.

To produce a nomination package with the best chances of success, HAI strongly recommends that nominators explain how the work of the individual, team, or organization demonstrated the highest level of professionalism or contributed to the industry. It’s not enough to write, “This person is great and deserves an award.” Winning nominations must make a solid, supported case for the nominee’s selection as the outstanding entrant in the chosen category.

Nomination packages typically include written statements and endorsement letters on why a person or team deserves the award. “Tell us their story, and make sure you include how their efforts stood out among the best in our industry,” says Kirchner. “We’ve provided a detailed “how to” section on the website that includes suggestions on producing strong nominations. It’s not enough for a candidate to be a great person; the selection committee must recognize their contributions are outstanding.”

To give your nominee the best chance of selection, tell us their story and back it up with supporting material such as letters of recommendation, news stories, video clips, etc. Use the nomination narrative as an opportunity to illustrate your nominee’s passion for their job and the industry; tell us HOW they did their job so well and WHY that was important to their colleagues, their customers, or the industry at large.

The Salute to Excellence winners will be honored at HAI HELI-EXPO 2022 in Anaheim, February 26 – 29, 2024 (with exhibits open February 27 - 29).

HAI is the professional trade association for the global helicopter industry and represents more than 1,100 companies and over 16,000 industry professionals in more than 65 countries. Each year, HAI members safely operate more than 3,700 helicopters and remotely piloted aircraft approximately 2.9 million hours. HAI is dedicated to the promotion of the helicopter as a safe, effective business tool that provides unique advantages to society and to the advancement of the international vertical aviation community.

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